Coastal Tailed Frog Is Proud of Its Tadpole

Big genitals and hygiene are the secrets to reproductive success.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Let's not mince words. The coastal tailed frog's penis is huge.

    On some of the more demonstrative males, it can extend up to a quarter the animal's length, which is how the species got its euphemistic name. Proportionally, that would work out to nearly a foot and a half on a human. You may commence blushing now.

    Any situation involving colossal genitals is reason enough to cheer, but there's more good news. SF Gate says the species has managed to avoid a looming extinction, and its survival may indicate healthier water.

    The tailed frogs need clean, clear, fast-moving water in order to breed. And now, discoveries of healthy specimens around the Garcia River indicate that the water is indeed pure enough to meet their requirements. Milling, which began in the 1800s, threatened to destroy the ecosystem in Mendocino County until preservation efforts began near the frogs' habitat in 2004. These days, logging is done in cooperation with ecological groups that ensure proper reforestation and protection of sensitive areas.

    A two-year search has shown that, although they appear to have migrated a bit, the species hasn't vanished yet.

    That fancy penis surely deserves some of the credit. It's nearly prehensile, about to move around into a variety of positions. They can withstand very cold temperatures, and unlike other frogs, they have penetrative intercourse.

    May their continued survival, and the means by which it is accomplished, be an inspiration to us all.